The Africa50 Infra for Africa Forum kicked off on Monday morning in Lomé, Togo, with a landmark signing of an asset recycling agreement.
Asset Recycling is an innovative initiative led by Africa50 for governments to monetize existing infrastructure assets through a concession to the private sector with funds received being reinvested in other priority projects.
The agreement with the Republic of Togo, is expected to free the Government from all or part of the debt associated with the Lomé-Kpalimé Road project, thus freeing up some fiscal headroom to allocate public investments to other priority infrastructures for the country.
The road users, through the formation of a new PPP, would also benefit from an upgraded service in compliance with international standards.
Togo has invested massively in its own infrastructure including in ports, where it has become a logistics hub, as well as in roads and power.
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H.E Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo in his opening address, said “There are huge needs for infrastructure, without which development is not possible in Africa. This is at the heart of our roadmap.
The involvement of the private sector in infrastructure is unavoidable and this means we must develop more bankable projects. Government involvement is also essential to attract foreign capital and this is why it is important for governments to provide a stable, and transparent economic environment that is receptive to economic actors.”
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and Chairman of the Board of Africa50 in his keynote address, reiterated the Bank’s commitment to Togo where it has a portfolio of investments across transport, agriculture and private sector development projects and congratulated its government for the “bold and visionary step forward in finding alternative infrastructure financing solutions” through this new agreement with Africa50.
Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, noted that: “We are committed to bringing new solutions to help tap into new pools of capital and new investor groups. We are delighted to partner with the government of Togo to leverage innovative instruments, which is what Africa50 is known for.”
A number of other signings and announcements are planned during the Forum that will last two days.